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Telescopes, Astronomy and Cameras - A Heaven Sent Family Hobby

By Larry W Price  |  Submitted On November 08, 2010
Quality time spent with our children and loved ones is invaluable in this day and age. We should all have a goal to share time with loved ones, as well as friends and acquaintances. Astronomy is a hobby that can be used to further the goal of spending quality time with family, and educate them not just about our very small world, but our universe as well. Whether you believe in the Big Bang theory or Creation, the universe is an astounding gift filled with awe and beauty. If you dabble in astrology, you will be amazed at what the heavens have to offer you in a quest to see related constellations and planetary positions throughout the year. This article is intended to promote astronomy as a shared family hobby. I was blessed enough to enjoy this as a child, and later as an adult.


My Personal Experience
As children, our father introduced all six of us at an early age to the "wonders of astronomy" with the use of telescopes and later, camera photography of heavenly near and far objects. The first purchase was a 3" Refractor Telescope with two extra lenses. We were deeply awed by the moon, planets, star clusters and constellations observed through this small telescope. There is not one of us kids who would not later observe the heavens and site planets, common star clusters and constellations visible to the naked eye and not name them all correctly.
Later, our father built a 10" Reflector Telescope with a longer focal length, which took us to new dimensions allowing us to see deeper into space with more detail and resolution. He hand ground the lens creating a concave mirror, rolled the tube, built the brackets and telescope mount. After this he added tracking motors and a camera attachment for celestial photography. The heavens were opened up exposing a beauty we all carry in our hearts to this very day.


Is This Real Quality Time?
Effective quality time can be measured. Are we doing things as a group? Is this a valuable learning experience? Do emotions come into play that can be shared and remembered by everyone involved? Are you exciting their enthusiasm in a way that is obvious and apparent? These are assessment variables which in this case will be answered with a resounding yes. The beauty and splendor of the universe will fascinate your children and friends. Astronomy will never be seen as a wasted investment either in time, or money.

Choosing the Right Telescope
If you are going to involve yourself personally and use this as a real opportunity to teach your children, and enjoy the reward of embedding lifelong memories they will always remember, then buy a good intermediate grade telescope. There are many manufacturers to choose from when you buy online. Orion makes a 4" and 6" Reflector telescope starting at about $300.00. It is a portable and well built product that will last for many years.


Portability is very important because quality time can include bringing the telescope on family excursions to the mountains and deserts. Viewing and later photography (if you upgrade), is better in these locations because there is much less ambient light to interfere with viewing and photography. The quality of celestial views and the photographs (time exposed), are excellent and will be shared and talked about for years to come.

In conclusion I want to impress deeply that astronomy as a family hobby will be exceptionally rewarding for all of you. It will build memories and learning that are precious and everlasting. There are several telescopes in my family. We have all been touched by the beauty of astronomy and the universe. We also share emotional attachments derived from many group experiences together while camping in the desert and mountains, getting up late at night and viewing the heavens. Photography using attached cameras provide solid memorabilia that when viewed later, bring back all of these wonderful and enduring memories.

The Author is a native of California and a conservative family oriented person. Through his articles and website promotions, Larry intends to promote Quality Time Hobbies that have the potential to create strong family bonding, and quality friendships. Not all hobbies have potential to bring people togeher in the same way. In promotion, it is the intent of this author to present and educate on hobbies that are especially rewarding because of group involvement. Physical interaction and exchange of information and learning are key to the creation of lasting memories, and the bonds created by them.

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